In this week's episode, Earl (Jason Lee) tries to make up for getting his babysitter pregnant when he was young. But it's not what you think — it's much funnier.
After seeing a pregnant woman at the Crab Shack, Earl remembers his teenage caretaker, Rachel, whom he had a crush on. He had tried to win her over by all manners of persuasion, including walking around shirtless and staring at her while she danced, but to no avail. Angry that she had brought her boyfriend Daniel over for a tryst, the young Earl stealthily pops holes in his condom with a safety pin before they do the deed. Sure enough, she becomes pregnant. But, as he later tells her, "Look on the bright side — we already know you're a good babysitter."
When he tracks down the adult Rachel (Faith Ford) to make amends, he finds she has married Daniel and is seemingly living happily. Then he meets the offspring he clandestinely helped conceive all those years ago. Ronnie (Adam Rose), their selfishly bratty, overgrown man-child, lives and mooches off of his parents while they make believe it's just a phase. Even though the hapless parents insist that he owes them nothing, Earl decides to cross them off his list by turning their son into a man with the help of a little tough love.
Putting Ronnie up in a motel room and ordering him to find a job within three days seems like a perfect plan to Earl, who marvels at how easy it is to raise a child. But Randy (Ethan Suplee), playing the mother role, is a "nervous wreck." Regardless of their attitudes, Ronnie has other plans and slacks off the entire time. After Earl takes the TV, and the rest of the furniture he spends his time playing with, away from Ronnie, he kicks him out of the motel only to find him being served eggs in the morning by his "homeless mom." When he chastises him for being an adult without a job who doesn't look after himself, he only ends up offending Randy, who leaves with Ronnie to prove Earl wrong.
Meanwhile, Joy (Jaime Pressly) is in a predicament of her own. Having driven away with Darnell's (Eddie Steeples) beloved Mr. Turtle on the roof of her car, she sets about finding a replacement. Even after getting some help picking a new turtle from Catalina (Nadine Velazquez), we all know how these sorts of stories end. Crabman doesn't suspect Joy, but he can tell his turtle's acting vastly different. Soon after, this new turtle dies and, heartbroken, he puts on the best funeral a reptile ever had (the tombstone gives his full name, Sydney Turtle, and reveals that he's a Jewish turtle). When Joy reveals what happened, Darnell comes out with the funniest possible line: "Who's this son of a bitch then?!" But he's touched that Joy told the truth when she could've gotten away with it and he has hope that Mr. Turtle will find his way home.
Earl's been riding the hope train too, but in the opposite direction. Convinced that Randy can't take care of himself, he finds Rachel and Daniel and the trio begin searching for their "boys." Finding nothing at the morgue or the bottom of the pool (the logical places to look, of course), they're left to worry until Randy and Ronnie show up in suits on a golf cart. After returning a man's wallet and gaining free suits in return, they naturally follow other well-dressed people into a business meeting about Flange Production. Their honesty about being bored with the meeting invigorates the professionals, who end up taking a liking to them. Randy's achievement in the real world even gets topped off with an opportunity to break out his famous fish-and-hook dance moves.
After the experience of getting respect and having fun while being an adult, Ronnie decides to change his ways. But more importantly for Earl, he now knows that Randy can not only handle himself when he needs to, but that he can handle himself because of all the things that Earl has taught him by example. However, Randy knows the importance of a sidekick and has no qualms about slipping back into that role (and neither do I).
All in all, this was a decent episode to kick off the show post-holiday break. Here are some of my favorite moments. What about yours?
- After saying por favor with a long "a," Joy comments that we'll all need to learn Spanish now that a Democrat's in office.
- The unbelievably snotty sarcasm of Ronnie after he gets milk from the fridge. "Skim milk? Really? Skim?"
- When the fake Mr. Turtle isn't as active as usual, Darnell assumes he tried to hump his heating rock again. "The rejection always depresses him."
- "Looks like I got myself a Randy." Randy teaches Ronnie the ways of the sidekick. Top priorities: watching for birds and aliens.
- Mr. Turtle always reminded Catalina of Richard Dreyfuss. When choosing between Joy's two turtles, she opts for the one that acts like Dreyfuss over the one that looks like him.
- Earl has no concept of what SARS is at the morgue and exposes himself to an extreme degree. Also, the only thing found at the bottom of the pool is a Shetland pony.
- Joy's "coaxing" the turtle in hopes that it acts more like Mr. Turtle.
- Randy talking on his cell phone like a true executive, using buzzwords and telling the person "Oh yeah, send me the link."
In this week's episode, Earl (Jason Lee
) tries to make up for getting his babysitter pregnant when he was young. But it's not what you think — it's much funnier.